Prince Harry's first visit to New Zealand took him from Auckland's urban buzz in the north to the pristine shores of New Zealand's most southern community on Stewart island.
The Prince had an opportunity to learn about New Zealand's past, present and future with a broad introduction to Kiwi culture and society. He met local communities in each destination, highlighting New Zealand’s diversity and community.
There was a strong focus on Maori culture and values during the Prince's tour as he was welcomed to each region visited by Maori from the local iwi (tribal group). At Whanganui, in the southwestern North Island, Prince Harry received a moving ceremonial welcome to historic Putiki Marae. After the powhiri welcome and a visit to the marae, the Prince helped paddle a traditional Maori waka / canoe on the Whanganui River - a place of deep spiritual significance to the local tribes.
In the centenary year of the Gallipoli campaign, the tour also included opportunities to recognise the sacrifice of members of the New Zealand Armed Forces and honour the service of the country's war veterans. Prince Harry visited the newly-opened ANZAC Square at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington and met veterans at a reception in Whanganui. He also met serving members of the New Zealand Defence Force at Linton Military Camp where he learned to haka (the Maori war challenge) and ate a traditional hangi meal.
In Christchurch, His Royal Highness joined Prime Minister John Key to view the city's reconstruction programme following the earthquake of February 2011. He met local community members who had supported the city in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, including students and volunteers from the University of Canterbury.
Other events during The Prince's tour acknowledged New Zealand's success in the fields of tourism and sport, including meeting several All Blacks and other national sports champions. On his last day in Auckland, Prince Harry attended an event to showcase New Zealand as the host nation of the forthcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup and showed his skills on the football pitch leading a team of young New Zealand players .
Before his tour, a spokesman for The Prince said: "Prince Harry is very much looking forward to his first visit to New Zealand. He has heard so many great things about the country, not least from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their tour last year. He has made a number of Kiwi friends over the years, especially through the course of his military duties and is delighted that he will now have so many opportunities to meet New Zealanders in every community he visits during his tour."
In brief – New Zealand visit of HRH Prince Harry
- Wellington – 9 May: Official welcome from Governor General at Government House. Visit to the National War Memorial and ANZAC Square in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Attend Hurricanes vs Sharks Super 15 Rugby Game at Westpac Stadium.
- Stewart Island – 10- 11 May: Meet the local community and visit Ulva Island, a Department of Conservation open island sanctuary.
- Christchurch – 12 May: Visit to the Quake City Exhibition and Re:Start Mall. Meet student volunteers at University of Canterbury.
- Linton Military Camp –13 May: Military activities with the Army, including learning the Army's own Haka.
- Whanganui – 14 May: Welcome on to Putiki Marae. A trip on the Whanganui River on board a Maori waka. Visit to the War Memorial Centre to meet veterans.
- Auckland –15 -16 May: Visit to Middlemore Hospital’s Spinal Rehabilitation Unit, and a reception with emergency services at Government House. Attend FIFA U20 World Cup event. Visit the Millennium Institute of Sport.